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Dartford v St Albans City

Dartford host unbeaten St Albans City on Tuesday night with the chance to increase their lead over their opponents.

The Darts extended their advantage at the top of the National South on the weekend after beating rivals Maidstone United. Victory took Steve King’s side four points clear at the summit, but St Albans City pose an early threat despite sitting in seventh place.

Ian Allinson’s team have only played five league games and in their solitary away day so far, the Saints dropped their only points of the campaign. On the weekend, whilst the Hertfordshire club had a day off, Dartford travelled to Maidstone United for their first Kent derby of the season.

Captain, Tom Bonner helped secure a third straight away win for the Darts on his 350th appearance for the club. Dartford’s clinical finishing was enough to separate the two sides. Bonner’s strike opened the scoring and a few minutes later, Charlie Sheringham made sure of the three points with Dartford’s second goal in a 2-0 derby day win.

Steve King labelled Saturday’s triumph as a ‘strong win’ and a ‘gritty performance’ when speaking to DFC TV. The Dartford boss praised the way his side adapted to the conditions throughout the afternoon, he explained: “A win is a win, you get three points. It was just one of those games where you just had to get through it basically”.

Dartford’s last home match against St Albans City courtesy of DFV TV

Dartford had to contend with the injury to left back Craig Braham-Barrett, but the versatility of the squad certainly helped. Jordan Wynter slipped into the full back position with David Ijaha coming into the holding midfield role. When the Darts chased a winner, Charlie Sheringham was able to come on as the side moved to a 4-3-3 formation. King commented: “With all that going on, they have done brilliantly to come away with a clean sheet and three points against a good side”.

Once again former players could feature against their previous club. Josh Hill and Luke Allen have made just three substitute appearances between them this season and both spent time at St Albans City. In the other camp, Tom Bender and Luke Warner-Eley return to Princes Park with the Saints. Bender played 16 times for the Darts, scored against Dartford in November 2016 and netted an own goal a year later.

Luke Warner-Eley made his Dartford debut against the Saints under Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle and went on to make six appearances, the defender featured in the 1-1 draw between the two sides at Princes Park last season. Saints top scorer last season, Joe Iaciofano scored for the visitors, but Luke Wanadio equalised in the second half. In the away fixture Dartford ended a four match losing streak at Clarence Park with a 2-1 victory, goals from Darren McQueen and Liam Nash.

St Albans City struggled last term and were in twentieth place when the season stopped. Like Dartford they lost their top scorer in the summer, and whilst the Darts have been able to spread their goalscorers out around the squad, the Saints have Shaun Jeffers top of their leaderboard with five. Ian Allinson has recruited well this term and results have shown an upturn in form.

A week ago, the Saints came from behind at Clarence Park to beat Braintree Town 2-1, their third consecutive win following home victories over Chippenham Town and Ebbsfleet United. On the opening day of the campaign they also won on their own patch, but their only away fixture in the National South ended in a 1-1 draw against Concord Rangers.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 9 / St Albans City wins: 5 / Draws: 5

Current League Form

Dartford
(WWLWWW)
St Albans City
(WWWDW)
Maidstone UnitedA2-0Braintree TownH2-1
Hemel Hempstead TownA3-1Chippenham TownH3-0
Dorking WanderersH2-3Ebbsfleet UnitedH3-2
Havant &WaterloovileH2-1Concord RangersA1-1
Chippenham TownA2-1Hampton & RichmondH1-0
Bath CityH1-0

Last Six Meetings

07.03.2020St Albans City1Dartford2
06.08.2019Dartford1St Albans City1
12.01.2019Dartford3St Albans City2
01.09.2018St Albans City2Dartford0
03.02.2018St Albans City4Dartford0
28.10.2017Dartford2St Albans City1

Stats

Dartford are unbeaten in their last three home matches against St Albans City (W2, D1)

The Darts have lost just once at home against the Saints in normal time, which was in November 2016 (W5, D4)

St Albans City have scored in each of their last nine games against the Darts and have kept five clean sheets in those matches.

Tom Bonner is the second highest scorer at the club (17) one ahead of Elliott Romain (16). Charlie Sheringham is now on 51 career goals for the Darts.

On This Day

Dartford’s academy team may have bowed out of the F.A Youth Cup first round this year against Metropolitan Police, but the senior team beat the Met in front of the Match of the Day cameras in 1984. Dartford won the first round tie 3-0 with now Braintree Town boss George Borg scoring a fine goal. The Darts went out at the next round against AFC Bournemouth, who subsequently lost to Manchester United in the next round, a year after the Cherries famously shocked the Red Devils.

Mark Arber played the majority of the match with a fractured cheekbone in Dartford’s last home game on this day. Elliot Bradbrook twice put the Darts ahead against Southport in the National League eight years ago, but the visitors equalised through Steve Akrigg and in the last minute, Karl Ledsham. Two years ago, Charlie Sheringham scored the only goal of the game as Dartford beat Hampton and Richmond Borough at the Beveree.

National South Season Preview Part IV

Maidstone United

2019/2020 Performance:
League Position: 9th
F.A Cup: 2nd Round
F.A Trophy: 1st Round
Top Scorer: Ibby Akanbi (9 goals)

A former Football League club, the only in the division started their move through the non-league scene almost 20 years ago. In that time, they made light work in reaching the Isthmian Premier, consolidated themselves then moved to a new stadium. Since then the Stones won three promotions in four seasons to reach the National League. After three years they were relegated, and last term was their first back in the National South. Maidstone United were hoping for a swift return, but instead had to settle for ninth after losing five of their last six matches.

Manager: Hakan Hayrettin

Appointed as manager in January 2019, Hakan Hayrettin is a well-respected coach and Maidstone United represents his first managerial role outside of Essex. Starting out in 2003 with Waltham Forest, Hayrettin’s best moment came almost a decade later when he won the Isthmian Division One North with Grays Athletic, as they notched up an impressive 102 points. After working closely with John Still at Luton Town, he returned to Essex as manager of Braintree Town until they were relegated. Whilst at Maidstone United, Still called upon Hayrettin once more where he has been boss ever since.

Summer

Just over seven and half months ago, Scott Rendell hit the headlines when his goal knocked out Premier League opposition Norwich City in the F.A Cup. Rendell was playing for non-leaguers Luton Town at the time and since then he has spent time at Woking, Aldershot Town and last season Eastleigh. The striker has also gained experience with Cambridge United, Peterborough United and Wycombe Wanderers, now he will be sharing his footballing knowledge at the Gallagher Stadium. The Stones also signed Kreshnic Krasniqi from National South champions Wealdstone and defender Joe Ellul from Maidenhead United. George Porter, Christie Pattison, Raphe Brown and Charlie Seaman have all signed for the Stones as well.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 44 / Maidstone United wins: 45 / Draws: 19

Oxford City

2019/2020 Performance:
League Position: 13th
F.A Cup: 1st Round
F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round
Top Scorer: Zac McEachran (9 goals)

Spending the majority of last season with interim managers, Oxford City still managed to maintain their consistency of mid-table finishes. The Hoops enjoyed some more F.A Cup success reaching the first round proper for the third year in a row. Shortly afterwards Mark Jones departed and that’s when Justin Merritt and Andy Ballard took over. The interim duo had an immediate impact winning five of their first six which included some high scoring entertaining games. Oxford City now have a new manager at the helm with early nineties top flight playing experience.

Manager: David Oldfield

Waiting to take charge of his first competitive game at Oxford City, David Oldfield made his name in football back in the eighties. The former midfielder impressed at Luton Town before joining Manchester City where he won promotion to the top flight. He played the first half of the nineties at Leicester City and was part of the team making it to the Premier League. After returning to Luton Town he went on to represent Stoke City, Peterborough United and Oxford United before entering the world of non-league as a player and briefly as a manager with Brackley Town.

Summer

At the age of 21, Harvey Bradbury has spent most of his fledgling career out on loan with the likes of Havant and Waterlooville, St Albans City, Hungerford Town and Woking. Son of former Portsmouth striker Lee, Harvey joins Oxford City from Millwall. The Hoops have strengthen their back line with the signings of Dan Matsuzaka from Braintree Town and Louis Hall (Bedford Town), the pair could be playing in front of former Sutton United goalkeeper Ben Dudzinski. Winger, James Roberts joins from Spennymoor Town and Lewis Coyle signs from Thatcham Town. Aaron Drewe and Jacob Bancroft are the latest to join the Hoops.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 7 / Oxford City wins: 3 / Draws: 3

Slough Town

2019/2020 Performance:
League Position: 5th
F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round
F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round
Top Scorer: Ben Harris (9 goals)

Three games into their second season in the National South and it looked like it could be a long campaign for Slough Town. In the end it was, but not because they had no points to show in the opening matches, but because they made the playoffs losing in the eliminator round against Dartford. The Rebels took a while to get going and when they put a run of one defeat in 19 their confidence grew. The Berkshire club can be delighted with what they have achieved since joining the National South.

Managers: Jon Underwood and Neil Baker

It’s not often joint managers work, but at Slough Town it definitely does. Jon Underwood and Neil Baker have been leading the Rebels since May 2013, before that they were both at Goldalming Town. The duo seem to have the knack of making their teams into playoff contenders, at Goldalming Town they reached the Isthmian Division One South playoffs, whilst at Slough Town they have been promoted twice through that route to the Southern Premier then the National South. Last season, they guided the Berkshire club to the National South playoffs but fell short this time.

Summer

There hasn’t been much action in the transfer market at Slough Town. Midfielder, Jack McKnight has been signed from Eastleigh and Louis Lomas has come in on loan from Championship club Norwich City. McKnight impressed the management team a few season’s ago when he scored against hem for Basingstoke Town. Lomas has been a regular in Norwich City’s under 23 squad and spent time on loan at Tampa Bay Rowdies last term in the USL Championship. Olly McCoy, Ada Okorogheye and Michael Edegbe all joined before Slough Town’s F.A Cup win over Dartford.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 4 / Slough Town wins: 3 / Draws: 2

St Albans City

2019/2020 Performance:
League Position: 20th
F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round
F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round
Top Scorer: Joe Iaciofano (17 goals)

Embroiled in a relegation battle last time out, the Saints will have to live life without golden boot winner Joe Iaciofano, who netted just under half of St Albans City’s goals. The Hertfordshire club were on course to record their lowest points tally since dropping out of the division nine years ago. Even then they didn’t spend long outside the National South and have been in this league for 12 of the previous 16 seasons. The club have rebranded with a new crest and have signed a sponsorship deal with rock band Enter Shikari.

Manager: Ian Allinson

A former Arsenal winger who turned to management back in 1989 with Baldock Town, Ian Allinson moved around before settling at Boreham Wood. It was in Hertfordshire where he picked up his first honours as a manager taking an unfancied side to the National League via two playoff promotions. Allinson moved the Wood from the Isthmian Premier League to the top flight of non-league on very low crowds, but due to work commitments he left in October 2015. Four months later Allinson rocked up at St Albans City where he has had mixed results so far.

Summer

Losing Joe Iaciofano in the summer meant finding a goalscorer was a priority for Ian Allinson. The St Albans City boss is hoping Shaun Jeffers will be that man after signing the striker from Chelmsford City. Also arriving from the Clarets is forward Joseph Chidyausiku and to add to the attacking line, Mitchell Weiss comes in from Kings Langley and Chid Onokwai from Haringey Borough, where he scored ten goals in as many games before injury cut his season short. Following Onokwai from the North London club is midfielder Romeo Akinola. Also, in the middle of the park, the Saints have brought in Michael Oluwadara Dada from Barking and Kyran Witshire from Oxford City. Luke Warner-Eley had a very short spell with Dartford playing six times before leaving the club, he joins the Saints from Royston Town. Defenders, Joy Mukena (Bracknell Town), Devante Stanley (Biggleswade Town) and goalkeeper Michael Johnson (Dagenham and Redbridge) will also be at Clarence Park this season.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 7 / St Albans City wins: 5 / Draws: 5

Tonbridge Angels

2019/2020 Performance:
League Position: 15th
F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round
F.A Trophy: 1st Round
Top Scorer: Joe Turner (11 goals)

It took some time to settle in their first campaign back in the National South after a five-year absence. The Angels won promotion the hard way winning two playoff finals and that determination would stand them in good stead. Tonbridge Angels lost two thirds of their opening 15 games, then the second half of the season that was played out, they tasted defeat just three more times in 16 outings. In the end they were still in a relegation battle with many of the top sides to play, but they showed they can beat the teams around them.

Manager: Steve McKimm

You will find on Steve McKimm’s honours list two playoff wins in the same season. Tonbridge Angels’ route back to the National South was far from easy, after an Isthmian Premier League playoff win over Merstham, they beat Metropolitan Police in a ‘super-playoff’. He had come close before in 2016 with the Angels so winning two in a season tasted all the sweeter. As a player, McKimm also coached at Sutton United and before then had spells with Margate, Gravesend and Northfleet where he won the Isthmian Premier League title, Kingstonian, Farnborough, Hayes and Yeading United and Dulwich Hamlet.

Summer

Nine months after leaving the Angels, D’Sean Theobald is back at the Longmead Stadium. The midfielder’s performances earned him a move to Poland’s top flight with Korona Kielce, but his stay didn’t go to plan so Steve McKimm links up with Theobald again. Another two players return to the Angels, striker Alex Akrofi scored 15 times for Aveley last season and defender Arthur Lee was at AFC Hornchurch last term and was part of the Kent side’s promotion winning team. At full back, Kristian Campbell arrives from Eastbourne Borough and Javaun Splatt gets a chance following a two year scholarship at Derby County’s Academy, Splatt has also had loan spells with Mickleover Sports and Carshalton Athletic. 

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 68 / Tonbridge Angels wins: 38 / Draws: 24

Welling United

2019/2020 Performance:
League Position: 12th
F.A Cup: 4th Qualifying Round
F.A Trophy: 1st Round
Top Scorer: Anthony Cook (8 goals)

In one summer Welling United suffered two big losses, the playoff final defeat to Woking just over a year ago and former manager Steve King. Owner, Mark Goldberg decided changes were needed to help the finances of the club and so appointed himself as manager, tapping into the resources already at the club. Goldberg lasted until January and as defeats become more frequent decided it was time to hand the reins over. Welling United went on to pick up form to comfortably finish mid-table, making what they achieved under King stand out more.

Manager: Bradley Quinton

A promotion winner with Braintree Town just over two years ago, Bradley Quinton led the Iron to the National League via the playoffs. Whilst he had a shot at the National League his tenure lasted until October 2018 when he resigned. In January 2019, he was appointed to stop Welling United’s slide as the Wings were in the bottom three of the National South and soon after fortunes improved. Quinton previously played a part in Enfield Town reaching a playoff spot in 2017 and at the Middesex club he worked under current Braintree Town boss George Borg.

Summer

Two former Dartford players have joined the Wings this summer, although both players made very limited appearances for the Darts. Rowan Liburd played just three games during his loan spell under Steve King, the striker signs from Hereford. Marcel Barrington was also at Dartford last season and he is now back alongside Bradley Quinton where the pair worked together at Braintree Town. Lionel Ainsworth brings plenty of experience to the squad after a career at various Football League clubs, the winger enjoyed a spell north of the border at Motherwell and joins from Dulwich Hamlet. Former Yeovil Town winger, Tyrique Clark anddefender Quba Gordon (Maldon and Tiptree) were added to the squad as well as goalkeeper Mohammed Oulad Laarbi and midfielder Emmanuel Maja. Former Staines Town man William Efambe will join Lanre Azeez (Hastings United), German Petrov and Stefan Ilic (Lewes) as new members at Park View Road.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 22 / Welling United wins: 10 / Draws: 9

St Albans City v Dartford

Buoyed by the fact the Darts reached a cup final this week, Dartford return to league action this weekend when they visit St Albans City.

The Darts have had nothing to show in their last four visits to Clarence Park, losing them all without even finding the back of the net. Dartford’s last victory there was nine years ago remembered by a freak long range Lee Burns header, but it was young Jack Pallen that scored the winner in a 2-1 triumph.

Over the last three weeks Steve King has made good use of the squad he has assembled with mid-week Kent Senior Cup games scheduled between National South fixtures. In that time the Darts have picked up four points from six, including the stalemate with league leaders Wealdstone and progressed through two rounds of the county cup to reach the final.

On Tuesday night a strong Dartford side strolled past Phoenix Sports in the semi-final. King made five changes to the side that drew 0-0 with Wealdstone, goalkeeper Alhaji Sesay was back in goal, Ronnie Vint replaced Josh Hill at centre back, Jake Jebb made his second start for the club. Luke Wanadio and Liam Nash who were on the bench against the Stones were selected to start. Goals from Jordan Wynter, Liam Nash’s brace, Elliott Romain and Amrit Bansal-McNulty, who has now extended his loan until the end of the season earned the Darts a comprehensive 5-1 victory.

In Dartford’s last league game, King made six changes to the side and his team came away with a creditable draw with league leaders Wealdstone. A solid defence, in which Tom Bonner and Josh Hill excelled, and the impact of Wanadio’s appearance from off the bench were positives in difficult playing conditions. Dartford survived the biggest moment of the match though when Weadstone’s Dennon Lewis missed a penalty.

The Darts bagged their first point of the season when they last played St Albans City in August under the guidance of Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle. New signing and current top scorer for the Saints, Joe Iaciofano scored for the Hertfordshore club, his first goal of the campaign to give the visitors the lead. However, Wanadio netted his first goal since returning to the Darts in the second half.

At Princes Park, Dartford have fared better against the Saints, but it’s the away fixture against Ian Allinson’s side that has troubled them over the last four years. St Albans City have won four in a row against the Darts on their own patch scoring eleven without reply. Last season, Dartford were beaten 2-0 when Solomon Sambou and Khale da Costa scored. The year before on the final day of the season, Sam Merson’s brace helped the Saints to a 4-0 win, Charlie Walker scored the only goal three years ago and two own goals contributed to another 4-0 reverse for the Darts in 2016.

St Albans City are in a relegation fight sitting second from bottom in the National South with just three home wins in the league this season. Although form has picked up for Ian Allinson’s side as they try and get themselves out of trouble in a very tight battle at the bottom, only a point separate St Albans City in 21st and Concord Rangers fifteenth place

Last weekend, they lost a six pointer against Chippenham Town with former Dartford defender Tom Bender heading the Saints in front. However, two goals in the space of four minutes turned the match around when Kieran Parselle then Scott Twine helped Chippenham Town to victory. Bender made 20 appearances for the Darts during the 2014/2015 campaign and scored against the Darts in 2016 for St Albans City, a season later he scored an own goal which gave Dartford a home victory.

However last month, the Saints did beat promotion chasers Bath City then Havant and Waterlooville on the road. Their last victory at home, four weeks ago, was against Maidstone United. Out of the teams around the relegation zone, St Albans City have one of the better records over the last eight games.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 7 / St Albans City wins: 5 / Draws: 5

Current League Form

Dartford (DWLWWL) St Albans (LWDWLL)
WealdstoneH0-0Chippenham TownA1-2
Eastbourne Borough H2-1Havant & WaterloovilleA2-1
Hampton & Richmond H1-2Oxford CityH0-0
Chippenham Town A5-1Bath CityA3-0
Dulwich Hamlet H1-0Welling UnitedH1-2
Slough Town A0-1 Hampton & RichmondA1-2

Last Six Meetings

06.08.2019Dartford1St Albans City1
12.01.2019Dartford3St Albans City2
01.09.2018St Albans City 2Dartford0
03.02.2018St Albans City 4Dartford0
28.10.2017Dartford2St Albans City 1
25.03.2017St Albans City 1Dartford0

Stats

The last away win in this fixture was on 8 November 2016, when St Albans City won 2-0 at Princes Park. Since then the home side has won five of the last six.

The Darts have gone eight games without a clean sheet against St Albans City.

Dartford’s draw with Wealdstone was their 200th league game since relegation from the National League. The Darts have won 100, drawn 46, lost 54, scored 331 goals and conceded 246 in that time.

St Albans City have lost all four home games against sides in the top five, but they have drawn all three against the teams directly below the Darts.

Only Hungerford Town have picked up fewer points at home than St Albans City this season.

On This Day

Inflatable penguins made their debut when Dartford last won on 7 March in 1989, the Darts beat Atherstone United 3-0 at Watling Street in the Southern League Cup semi-final first leg on their way to wining the competition. Thirty years ago, Dartford drew 2-2 with Welling United in the last eight of the Kent Senior Cup and then 0-0 with Gloucester City two years later in the Southern Premier League. Witney Town beat Dartford 3-1 in 1998, Tommy Osborne and Adam Gross scored in a 2-2 draw with Margate in 2009. The last two games have seen the Darts fail to score, in front of the BT Sports cameras six years ago Dartford lost 1-0 at home to Chester and a year later, the Darts drew 0-0 at FC Halifax Town.

Dartford v St Albans City

Competitive football returns to Princes Park on Tuesday night as Dartford host St Albans City under the floodlights looking to get off the mark.

The Darts fell to their heaviest opening day defeat in twenty years when they lost 4-1 at Wealdstone on the weekend. Strikers Darren McQueen, Alex Flisher were both missing with a dislocated shoulder, Charlie Sheringham with a thigh injury, Lee Noble is out for a few weeks and Sam Blackman with a broken ankle. Last minute signings ensured some strikers were available for selection but only four substitutes were named on the bench.

Debutante, Josh Hill headed his first goal for the club to level the match on the stroke of half-time, after the Darts found themselves behind to a Ross Lafayette penalty inside the first ten minutes. The match got away from the Darts towards the closing stages when Wealdstone netted three times in twelve minutes. Dennon Lewis hit a deflected shot to give the Stones the lead on 74 minutes, Connor Stevens scored a free header with ten minutes to go then Lafayette struck again.

Flanagan and Coyle gave debuts to goalkeeper Mark Smith, defender Luke Warner-Eley, midfielder Luke Allen and new signings Amos Nasha and Adam Cunnington. Winger, Luke Wanadio started his first match since returning to the club and Norman Wabo made his first appearance coming on as a substitute.

St Albans City started their National South season with a dour 0-0 draw at home to Chippenham Town. Former Dartford defender Tom Bender wasn’t in the matchday squad, but manager Ian Allinson handed first starts to England C international David Longe-King, Joe Iaciofano, Darren Foxley and Bobson Bawling.

In January, Dartford beat St Albans City in an entertaining match between the two sides at Princes Park. The first half saw four goals with Elliott Bradbrook’s 25 yard screamer into the top corner putting the Darts in front. Twice the visitors had to equalise, Zane Banton first made it all square, but five minutes later Phil Roberts netted his first Dartford goal. St Albans City were level again on the stroke of half-time when Sam Merson made it 2-2. However, Roberts, who had waited for his fourth appearance to open his account scored the winner with two minutes remaining, helping the Darts to victory.

Since Dartford’s return to the National South, they have beaten the Saints in three of the last four games at Princes Park, another home triumph this season will make it three on the bounce against the Hertfordshire club. St Albans City last took maximum points in Dartford in November 2016 and have won all four on their own patch without conceding.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 7 / St Albans City wins: 5 / Draws: 4

Last Six Meetings

12.01.2019 Dartford 3 St Albans City 2
01.09.2018 St Albans City 2 Dartford 0
03.02.2018 St Albans City 4 Dartford 0
28.10.2017 Dartford 2 St Albans City 1
25.03.2017 St Albans City 1 Dartford 0
08.11.2016 Dartford 0 St Albans City 2

Stats

At Princes Park, the Darts have won the last two and lost just once to the Saints in six meetings over ninety minutes. Although the F.A Trophy tie in 2008 finished with St Albans City winning on penalties.

St Albans City have won five of the last seven meetings between the two sides. However four of those matches were at Clarence Park without Dartford scoring.

Dartford last lost their opening two games of the season in 2012, they lost in the National League to Tamworth and Woking, then Macclesfield Town made it three in a row. The Darts ended up finishing as the highest part time team in the country that season, in eighth place.

On This Day

Dartford opened their 2016/2017 campaign at home to Wealdstone and the result was much better than Saturday’s. The Darts had to settle for a point despite taking the lead twice in a 2-2 draw. Luke Wanadio, making his debut set up Elliot Bradbrook for the first goal, which was cancelled out just after the break. Ryan Hayes netted from the spot, but deep into injury time Eddie Oshodi rescued a point for the visitors.

 

St Albans City – Season Preview 2019/2020

St Albans City

2018/19 Season

National South: 9th

F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: Runners Up

League Top Scorer: David Moyo (14 goals) / Average Attendance: 842

Former Dartford full back Tom Bender was retained by St Albans City along with Zane Banton, James Kaloczi and Scott Shulton. Ben Herd left the Saints to take up a managerial role at Isthmian League South Central side Hertford Town, defender Lewis Knight switched to Maidstone United and both Khale Da Costa and Clovis Kamdjo have left St Albans City. Four years after last appearing for the Saints, defender and England C international David Longe-King returns to the Hertfordshire side from Biggleswade Town, where Ian Allinson’s son Lee is manager. Released from Northampton Town, St Albans City have signed Joe Iaciofano who came through the Cobblers academy. The striker has also had spells with Corby Town, Chesham United, Brackley Town and AFC Mansfield. Arriving from fellow National South side Hungerford Town, Darren Foxley had caused his new team plenty of problems on the wing when he played them, now he will be in the blue and yellow of St Albans City. Other players added to the squad to provide width are Bobson Bawling and Rhys Murrell-Williamson, the latter returning to Clarence Park. Bawling has played for Crawley Town before moving to Woking then Torquay United last summer, by the end of the season he was at Oxford City on loan. Murrell-Williamson scored 15 times for St Albans City in the 2017/2018 campaign and made it into the National South Team of the Season, he has since had spells at Hampton and Richmond Borough, Billericay Town and Woking. Released from neighbours Hemel Hempstead Town, Joe Howe signed for the Saints, the right back has spent most of his career at Ebbsfleet United, but has also represented Welling United. Fisher Athletic, Bromley and Leatherhead.

The Manager – Ian Allinson

Ian Allinson committed his future to the club and will be part a much bigger picture providing the Saints direction in commercial development, creating a pathway for young district players to progress through to the first team, developing the club’s brand and to look into a move to full time football. The former winger amassed over 300 league appearances as a player for Colchester United in two spells, and played over 100 games in all competitions for Arsenal. He also appeared for Stoke City and Luton Town. As a manager, he won the Isthmian Premier League and National South playoff finals with Boreham Wood before joining St Albans City three years ago. Allinson has also managed Baldock Town, Barton Rovers, Harlow Town and Stotfold so has plenty of experience to offer the Saints.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 7 / St Albans City wins: 5 / Draws: 4

Last Six Meetings

12.01.2019 Dartford 3 St Albans City 2
01.09.2018 St Albans City 2 Dartford 0
03.02.2018 St Albans City 4 Dartford 0
28.10.2017 Dartford 2 St Albans City 1
25.03.2017 St Albans City 1 Dartford 0
08.11.2016 Dartford 0 St Albans City 2

Facts

In the first ten meetings between the two teams the Darts won six, drew three and lost a cup tie on penalties.

All five of St Albans City’s victories in normal time have came in the last three years, the Saints have kept five clean sheets in the last seven meetings.

Last Ten Years

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next Meetings

Tuesday 6 August 2019 at Princes Park

Saturday 7 March 2020 at Clarence Park

Dartford v St Albans City

Dartford will need to extend their unbeaten home run to four this weekend to be in with a chance of leapfrogging fellow playoff chasers St Albans City.

Victory will move the Darts above the Saints who hold a one point advantage leading up to the National South fixture. The Hertfordshire club already got one over Dartford this term by claiming a 2-0 triumph at Clarence Park in September. Solomon Sambou and Khale Da Costa scored the goals to earn St Albans City three points and earn a fourth win in five over the Darts.

However, the last meeting at Princes Park went Dartford’s way partly due to a former player and last season’s National South Player of the Year. Alfie Pavey found the back of the St Albans City net and unfortunately so did defender Tom Bender to score an own goal. It wasn’t the first time Bender had scored in Saints shirt at Princes Park, during the 2016/2017 campaign he scored at the right end past Bailey Vose, who was making his league debut for the Darts in his first spell with the club, Sam Merson netted the other as the Darts fell to a 2-0 defeat. In February 2016, Andy Pugh was on hand twice to give Dartford a 2-0 home victory.

Dartford were denied all three points last weekend in second half injury time. Visiting an out of form Wealdstone without the suspended Lee Noble, the injured Charlie Sheringham and Mark Onyemah, the Darts called in Jamie Philpot up front, Ryan Hayes in midfield and Jordan Wynter at the back. Former captain, Elliot Bradbrook scored a header with twenty minutes remaining, but his seventh goal of the campaign was not enough as Wealdstone’s Eoin McKeown equalised very late on. The draw extended Dartford’s unbeaten run to three as they look towards the playoff places.

This week, Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle have added another member to the squad by signing 28-year-old midfielder Billy Crook from Braintree Town. A statement from the joint managers said: ”Billy showed last season against Dartford, what a great player he is and this was recognised by getting in the team of the year. He was a major part in the success Braintree had and after not being able to do something in the summer it was good to finally be able to bring him to the club”. Crook caused heartbreak to Dartford in May when his goal knocked the Darts out of the National South playoffs.

St Albans City travel to Princes Park on the back of a seven game unbeaten run. Their best sequence of the season has lifted the Saints towards the playoffs after previously losing three in a row. Four wins by a single goal margins and three draws have earned Ian Allinson’s side 15 points from the last 21 available.

The Saints top scorer this season, David Moyo netted the winner last weekend against Oxford City to record his tenth goal of the campaign. Moyo joined the club in the summer after leaving Hemel Hempstead Town. Tom Bender is still plying his trade with the Hertfordshire club, the defender played 20 times for the Darts during the 2014/2015 campaign.

Despite victory over Oxford City, Ian Allinson thought his side was second best and needed some luck, he told www.hertsad.co.uk: ““We haven’t played well. I can’t blame the players for their commitment and endeavour and work rate but the quality was poor”, he added: ““We can’t play well every week and sometimes you have to dig deep and we’ve done that. You have to ride your luck at times and we’ve picked up 13 points from the five games”.

Head to Head

St Albans City wins: 5 / Dartford wins: 7/ Draws: 4

Current Form

Dartford (DWDLWD) St Albans City (WDWWWD)
Wealdstone A 1-1 Oxford City H 1-0
Welling United H 1-0 Hemel Hempstead Town A 1-1
East Thurrock United A 2-2 Billericay Town H 2-1
Welling United A 0-2 Hemel Hempstead Town H 2-1
Hungerford Town H 2-1 Eastbourne Borough A 2-1
Slough Town H 1-1 Wealdstone H 0-0

Previous Meetings

01.09.2018 St Albans City 2 Dartford 0
03.02.2018 St Albans City 4 Dartford 0
28.10.2017 Dartford 2 St Albans City 1
25.03.2017 St Albans City 1 Dartford 0
08.11.2016 Dartford 0 St Albans City 2
30.04.2016 St Albans City 4 Dartford 0

Stats

Dartford have only lost one at home to St Albans City which was in November 2016, however the Darts have won one and lost four of the last five meetings.

The Darts have failed to score in four of the last five matches against St Albans City.

However, the Darts were unbeaten for the first ten games against the Saints winning six and drawing four up until the recent run of four defeats in five.

All but one of Elliot Bradbrook’s goals this season (his last six) have come in the last 20 minutes of matches.

Former Dart, Tom Bender has scored in his last two visits at Princes Park, one for St Albans City and the other an own goal.

The Saints have scored the most goals (5) in 90+ minutes of games. They have scored 30% of their goals in the final 15 minutes of matches.

On This Day

Dartford have scored 12 goals in their last three home games on 12 January with the most recent match played six years ago against Bromley in the F.A Trophy third round. Dominic Green scored his only two goals for the club in a loan spell that spanned five appearances, Lee Burns and Harry Crawford scored the others in a 4-2 win. In 2008, Dartford trounced Ilford in the Isthmian Division One North. Brendon Cass scored twice, Jay May, John Guest and Steve Norman to complete the 5-0 rout. Another cup tie took place on this day in 1988 with the Darts beating Hastings Town 3-0 in the Southern League Cup third round.

 

St Albans City v Dartford

After a barren spell of victories and goals for Dartford they were back to winning ways on Bank Holiday Monday, now they have to end a poor run of form against St Albans City this weekend.

The Darts have lost three straight games at Clarence Park without finding the back of the net, hopefully the home win over East Thurrock United this week will provide Dartford with the confidence to break the sequence.

Joint manager, Jamie Coyle praised his team after the 2-0 win over the Rocks on monday, he spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk and said: “It’s been a tough couple of weeks, we’ve worked hard on the training pitch to get things right”.

Adam Flanagan and Coyle made two changes in an attempt to put things right with Lee Noble returning from injury and replacing Simon Mensah. The management duo recognised more was needed up front and in came Kudus Oyenuga for Alfie Cue.

The return and stand out performance of Noble was noted by Coyle, he commented: “He’s always on the front foot and in the face of the opposition. It allows everyone in midfield and the back four to get higher up the pitch and press with him”, he added: “He’s a catalyst of so much what the club has done in the past and what we’re going to do this year. You can really see when he doesn’t play that we miss him”.

Tom Bonner put Dartford ahead after a goal was wrongly ruled out earlier. Bonner smashed home a driven shot taking advantage of East Thurrock United’s goalkeeper who had flapped at Ben Greenhalgh’s corner. Noble provided a clever cross for the second goal, which Greenhalgh put away with a diving header at the far post, his first goal for the club.

Charlie Sheringham returns to the Darts for a third spell having previously scored 36 goals in 26 appearances, the 30 year old striker joins from Hemel Hempstead Town. Winger, Tom Knowles has also been signed on a one month loan from Cambridge United, the 18 year old has previous experience with St Ives Town, Cambridge City and St Neots Town. Meanwhile, Alfie Cue has gone out on a month loan to Leatherhead.

A win moved the Darts up six places to eleventh and a point behind a playoff place, whilst also ending a four game winless streak.

If goals are on the agenda then it normally involves St Albans City, already this season they have been involved in four games ending 3-2, winning two of those, against Hungerford Town on the opening day and Weston-super-Mare a week later.

On Bank Holiday Monday, the Saints lost one of those five goal thrillers to newly promoted and title challengers Billericay Town. Ian Allinson’s side were reduced to ten men just before half-time when Harold Joseph was red carded with his team 2-1 up. Billericay Town made use of the extra man scoring before the break then the winner in the second half. Two former Dartford defenders lined up in the starting eleven, Tom Bender who played 20 times during the 2014/2015 campaign and Richard Sho-Silva who managed 24 appearances last season scoring three goals.

Up front, Allinson can call upon striker Ralston Gabriel, the summer signing has started well at his new club scoring five times in St Albans City’s opening seven fixtures. Last season he netted 32 goals for Haringey Borough in their Isthmian Division One North playoff winning campaign, including four hat-tricks.

The Saints haven’t managed a repeat of last season’s start when they won six in a row. The Hertfordshire club finished four points and a place below the playoffs in the end but have only taken seven points from their first seven National South fixtures this time.

It was only seven months ago when the Darts last played at Clarence Park and were trounced 4-0, a repeat of the score in April 2016 at the same venue. Two goals from Sam Merson in three first half minutes followed by second-half strikes by Percy Kiangebeni and Rhys Murrell-Williamson earned the Saints three points last term. Earlier in that season, the Darts won at Princes Park 2-1 with Elliot Bradbrook opening the scoring and Bender’s own goal handing his former side the win. Bender also got on the scoresheet in November 2016 when St Albans City won 2-0 away from home, again Merson scored the other.

Dartford have managed just one win in their last five attempts against this weekend’s opponents.

Head to Head

St Albans City wins: 4 / Dartford wins: 7 / Draws: 4

Current Form

St Albans City (LDLLLL) Dartford (WLLLDW
Billericay Town A 2-3 East Thurrock United H 2-0
Eastbourne Borough H 1-1 Hungerford Town A 0-1
Oxford City A 1-2 Wealdstone H 0-3
Hampton & Richmond H 2-3 Concord Rangers A 0-2
Weston-super-Mare A 2-3 Hemel Hempstead Town H 0-0
Woking A 1-2 Chelmsford City H 1-0

Previous Meetings

03.02.2018 St Albans City 4 Dartford 0
28.10.2017 Dartford 2 St Albans City 1
25.03.2017 St Albans City 1 Dartford 0
08.11.2016 Dartford 0 St Albans City 2
30.04.2016 St Albans City 4 Dartford 0
06.02.2016 Dartford 2 St Albans City 0

Stats

In every St Albans City match this season both teams have scored, only once has this happened this term in Dartford games, on the opening day of the campaign.

The Darts have failed to score in four of their last five trips to Clarence Park.

Tom Bonner’s goal on Bank Holiday Monday ended a run of 411 minutes without scoring for the Darts.

A total of 28 goals have been scored in games involving St Albans City this season, more than any other team at four goals a game. There has only been 12 goals during Dartford matches the fourth fewest number of goals.

On This Day

Harry Crawford netted a hat-trick as Dartford completed one of their best performances in the National League on this day six years ago. The last time the Darts played on 1 September was at home to Alfreton Town and Crawford was the star of the show. The striker’s low drive opened the scoring, Jacob Erskine added a second and Ryan Hayes prodded in a third. Crawford scored again in the second half before Danny Meadows pulled a goal back for the Reds. Crawford secured the match ball scoring his third of the match from close range. Prior Dartford’s big win they had played their last four games on this day at home in the F.A Cup Preliminary Round beating Leatherhead 3-0 in 2007 with a brace from Brendon Cass and a goal by Tom Bradbrook. The Darts drew 2-2 with Carterton Town in 2002, defeated Eastbourne Borough 3-1 a year before and drew 1-1 with Horsham in 1996. The last away game was in 1990 and ended in a 4-0 defeat to Bromsgrove Rovers in the Southern Premier League.

National League South Season Preview 2018/2019 – Part Three

Hemel Hempstead Town | Hungerford Town | Oxford City | Slough Town | St Albans City | Torquay United

Hemel Hempstead Town

Founded: 1885 / Ground: Vauxhall Road

It’s been just over four years ago since Hemel Hempstead Town smashed the Southern Premier League, now the Tudors are looking towards the next level. The Hertfordshire based side have held their own in the National South finishing ninth, sixth and twelfth before last season. The Tudors reached the playoffs in the second tier of non-league football for the first time going out to eventual playoff winners Braintree Town on penalties at the first hurdle. Ending the campaign in fifth, Hemel Hempstead Town’s twelve game unbeaten run had them thinking of top spot back around the New Year. The Tudors also lost just two out of the last thirteen, but a division high thirteen draws saw them drop too many points.

Last Season

National South: 5th

F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: 1st Round

League Top Scorer: Jordan Parkes (14 goals)

Average Attendance: 527 (12th in National South)

The Manager – Dean Brennan

A career playing in the Football League career never took off for Dean Brennan, but he had a decent time in non-league football. The former midfielder won the F.A Trophy with Grays Athletic and had spells with Stevenage, AFC Wimbledon and various other clubs including Hemel Hempstead Town. At the age of 29, the Tudors appointed Brennan as interim manager and he kept them in the Southern Premier League. After a spell at Dunstable Town the Irishman returned to the Tudors six years ago. Brennan took the Tudors up to the National South in 2015 and last term reached the playoffs in fifth, their highest ever finish.

The Summer

The Tudors are focussing on attack with a host of signings boosting their forward line. Former Concord Rangers top scorer Steve Cawley signs a two-year deal after scoring 88 times in 225 appearances for the Beachboys. Phil Roberts was on course to win the National South golden boot at one point after spells with Chelmsford City and Braintree Town, he ended up with 18 goals last season. Ex Dartford striker, Charlie Sheringham returns to Hemel Hempstead Town after a spell in Bangladesh and Sanchez Watt signs a permanent deal after a successful loan spell from Billericay Town.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 4 / Hemel Hempstead Town wins: 1 / Draws: 2

Previous Meetings

17.03.2018 Dartford 3 Hemel Hempstead Town 2
26.08.2017 Hemel Hempstead Town 0 Dartford 3
01.04.2017 Hemel Hempstead Town 2 Dartford 2
12.11.2016 Dartford 2 Hemel Hempstead Town 0
17.10.2015 Dartford 2 Hemel Hempstead Town 2
08.08.2015 Hemel Hempstead Town 1 Dartford 0

Next Meetings

Saturday 11 August 2018 at Princes Park

Saturday 2 February 2019 at Vauxhall Road

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Hungerford Town

Founded: 1886 / Ground: Bulpit Lane

Promoted from the Southern Premier League two years ago, the Crusaders only had to wait less than a month for their first setback. Long serving manager Bobby Wilkinson left Bulpit Lane in favour of Wealdstone. Not the best preparation for a side hoping to keep momentum going from a sixth place finish the season before. Instead Hungerford Town struggled and survival went right down to the wire. With a one-point advantage over Poole Town going into the final day, the Crusaders clinched a place in the National South thanks to Nicholas Bignall’s winning goal against East Thurrock United. The 1-0 victory was crucial considering Poole Town also won, so now Hungerford Town will compete in this division for a third successive campaign.

Last Season

National South: 19th

F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: 2nd Round

League Top Scorer: Louie Soares (11 goals)

Average Attendance: 267 (21st in National South)

The Manager – Ian Herring

He experienced two promotions via the playoffs as a player with Hungerford Town and now he leads the team off the field. Ian Herring was appointed as the Crusaders manager just under a year ago having played for the Berkshire club since 2012. The 34-year-old replaced Bobby Wilkinson in September, who had been manager of Hungerford Town since the 2009/2010 campaign. With big shoes to fill, Herring was given the task of keeping the Crusaders in the National South which was just about completed on the final day of the season. Before a career with the Berkshire club, he played for Swindon Town, Salisbury City, Chippenham Town, Forest Green Rovers and Eastleigh.

The Summer

Ramone Rose will be looking to settle at Bulpit Lane having moved around the non-league scene frequently. The former Whitehawk man had a decent run in the Hawks side last term. The 28-year-old has been at Queens Park Rangers, Newport County, Wealdstone, Maidenhead United and Eastleigh to name but a few. Defender Tommy Cooney arrives having previously played for Brentford, Boston United and Margate. Tommy Ouldridge will bolster the midfield and has experience with Cirencester Town, Swindon Town and Chippenham Town. Sam Deadfield is another midfielder joining Hungerford Town from Basingstoke Town. Right back Marcus Johnson-Schuster also had spells with Basingstoke Town and Wealdstone as well as Hampton and Richmond Borough.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 1 / Hungerford Town wins: 2 / Draws: 2

Previous Meetings

09.12.2017 Hungerford Town 1 Dartford 0
05.08.2017 Dartford 0 Hungerford Town 0
14.04.2017 Hungerford Town 2 Dartford 0
27.08.2016 Dartford 2 Hungerford Town 0

Next Meetings

Saturday 25 August 2018 at Bulpit Lane

Saturday 22 December 2018 at Princes Park

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Oxford City

Founded: 1882 / Ground: Marsh Lane

A consistent side since switching from the National North to National South in the summer of 2015, Oxford City have finished their three seasons in this division in twelfth, fourteenth and last term sixteenth. The Nomads had a slow start to their campaign and were in the bottom three at the end of October. The Oxfordshire side woke up going unbeaten for the next two months with the run ending on New Year’s Day. Away from league competition, Oxford City managed to put together a F.A Cup run knocking out a Football League side for the first time in their history. The Nomads defeated Colchester United to reach the second round for the first time in forty-seven years where their run ended against Notts County.

Last Season

National South: 16th

F.A Cup: 2nd Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: Winners

League Top Scorer: Matt Patterson (21 goals)

Average Attendance: 319 (17th in National South)

The Manager – Mark Jones

In the F.A Cup last season, Oxford City knocked out Football League opposition for the first time in their history and it was masterminded by Mark Jones. He also guided City to their first County Cup triumph in fifteen years. Taking charge of the first team in December 2016, Jones came into the role with coaching and playing experience. Not only does he currently head up Oxford City’s scholarship programme he also played for the club. His playing career included spells at Aylesbury United, Harrow Borough and Thame United and after hanging up his boots, Jones worked at Stevenage as Centre of Excellence Manager and Watford as Lead Youth Development Phase Coach

The Summer

Josh Ashby returns to the Nomads on a one-year deal from Oxford United, he already played for Oxford City in 2016/2017 making 21 appearances. Scorer of 15 goals in 44 games, Kabongo Tshimanga arrives at Marsh Lane from Boston United, the striker has also played six times for Milton Keynes Dons. Left back, Ben Jefford had three spells with Welling United but he will be part of Mark Jones’ squad, the 23-year-old has National League experience with Sutton United, Woking and Forest Green Rovers. Four players impressed in pre-season one of which is Luke Ruddick, who had spent time out of the game, the defender previously played for Sutton United and Salisbury City. Kyran Wiltshire won the National South in 2016/17 and joins from Maidenhead United, Belize international Mike Atkinson and Eze Ibrahim will also be part of Oxford City’s squad. There was also a clear out with the likes of Lee Henderson, Godfrey Poku, Freddie Grant, Ezra Forde, Mamadou Fofana and Justin Bennett leaving.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 4 / Oxford City wins: 1 / Draws: 3

Previous Meetings

24.03.2018 Oxford City 0 Dartford 2
19.08.2017 Dartford 7 Oxford City 1
25.02.2017 Oxford City 1 Dartford 1
29.10.2016 Dartford 1 Oxford City 0
23.04.2016 Dartford 2 Oxford City 2
15.09.2015 Oxford City 2 Dartford 1

Next Meetings

Saturday 20 October 2018 at Princes Park

Saturday 27 April 2019 at Marsh Lane

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Slough Town

Founded: 1893 / Ground: Arbour Park

In the early nineties Slough Town were mixing it in the top flight of non-league football. The Rebels enjoyed seven seasons in what was then the Conference over eight years. By the end of the decade they dropped two divisions and have since been trying to find their way back. In their fourth campaign in the Southern Premier League, Slough Town took a significant step up winning the playoffs after finishing third. The Rebels accrued a massive ninety-nine points and scored an incredible one hundred and eleven goals. In the F.A Cup they reached the second round losing to Rochdale in front of the television cameras. Promoted after a last gasp playoff winner, the Rebels will look to keep their momentum going.

Last Season

Southern Premier: 3rd

F.A Cup: 2nd Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: Semi-Final

League Top Scorer: James Dobson (21 goals)

Average Attendance: 666 (4th in Southern Premier)

The Managers – Neal Baker and Jon Underwood

Joint managers since May 2013, Neal Baker and Jon Underwood both came from Godalming Town. At 29-years-old a knee injury ended Baker’s playing career so he moved into management with Fleet Spurs in the Wessex League Division One. Underwood was managing Sandhurst Town before teaming up with Baker at Godalming Town. Whilst with the G’s the duo reached the Isthmian Division One South playoffs and lifted the Surrey Senior Cup. At Slough Town, Baker and Underwood have been part of an upward trend by guiding the club to promotion to the Southern Premier League, via the playoffs, the same promotion route as last term to reach this season’s National South

The Summer

The Rebels have managed to keep most of their promotion winning squad together and with it they have added Sam Togwell. The midfielder has Football League experience with Barnsley and Scunthorpe United and signs from Eastleigh. Slough Town have also persuaded Louie Soares to join their ranks having top scored for Hungerford Town last term earning him Player of the Year. Matthew Lench hit the headlines with a sublime F.A Cup hat-trick last season, however he’s been released by the club.

Head to Head

Slough Town wins: 0 / Dartford wins: 3 / Draws: 0

Previous Meetings

01.10.2016 Slough Town 2 Dartford 3
29.10.1988 Slough Town 1 Dartford 2
10.01.1981 Dartford 4 Slough Town 1

Next Meetings

Saturday 8 December 2018 at Princes Park

Saturday 16 February 2019 at Arbour Park

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St Albans City

Founded: 1908 / Ground: Clarence Park

The early pace setters last season were left disappointed that they failed to reach the playoffs. However, the Saints can be pleased that they achieved their highest finish since returning to the National South in 2014. St Albans City racked up maximum points in their opening six games and were still joint top at the end of October. Four defeats in five games followed as they began to lose ground, but the Saints came again and went unbeaten in December. In the New Year they thrashed East Thurrock United 7-2 and followed that up with a 4-0 win over then league leaders Dartford to put them back in contention. The Saints hit more good form over Easter then ended losing five of their last six.

Last Season

National South: 8th

F.A Cup: 4th Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 2nd Round

County Cup: 2nd Round

League Top Scorer: Sam Merson (20 goals)

Average Attendance: 765 (5th National South)

The Manager – Ian Allinson

Out of all the managers in the National South this season, Ian Allinson has one of the biggest profiles due to his footballing career. The former winger amassed over 300 league appearances as a player for Colchester United in two spells, and played over 100 games in all competitions for Arsenal. He also appeared for Stoke City and Luton Town. As a manager, he won the Isthmian Premier League and National South playoff finals with Boreham Wood before joining St Albans City two years ago. Allinson has also managed Baldock Town, Barton Rovers, Harlow Town and Stotfold so has plenty of experience to offer the Saints.

The Summer

If Gary McCann at Hampton and Richmond Borough isn’t taking players from Hendon then Ian Allinson is. St Albans City add 21-year-old Luke Tingey to their squad, a versatile defender who played over a century of games over a three-year spell with the Greens. Tingey will be joined by Senegalese midfielder Dave Diedhiou, the 29-year-old made over 400 appearances for Hendon since 2008. Khale da Costa joins from Concord Rangers whilst former Dart, Tom Gardiner leaves as does Shaun Lucien who has joined Hampton and Richmond Borough. Allinson’s son Lee, has left his assistant manager’s post to take up a role with Biggleswade Town as first team manager. In his place Glenn Alzapiedi becomes the number two, who had three years with Concord Rangers as assistant to Adam Flanagan. Striker, Ralston Gabriel scored over 30 times during Haringey Borough’s promotion winning term and impressed manager Ian Allinson enough to sign a deal with the Saints. David Moyo lacked opportunities at Hemel Hempstead Town and will be given a chance at Clarence Park. National South playoff winner with Braintree Town, Roman Michael-Percil joins and has had previous spells with Concord Rangers, Billericay Town and Dulwich Hamlet.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 7 / St Albans City wins: 4 / Draws: 4

Previous Meetings

03.02.2018 St Albans City 4 Dartford 0
28.10.2017 Dartford 2 St Albans City 1
25.03.2017 St Albans City 1 Dartford 0
08.11.2016 Dartford 0 St Albans City 2
30.04.2016 St Albans City 4 Dartford 0
06.02.2016 Dartford 2 St Albans City 0

Next Meetings

Saturday 1 September 2018 at Clarence Park

Saturday 12 January 2019 at Princes Park

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Torquay United

Founded: 1899 / Ground: Plainmoor

A club that flirted with Football League existence for years, the warning signs have always been at Plainmoor. The Gulls have reached an all-time low, playing in the National South for the first time in their history. Torquay United did spend two years in the National League between 2007 and 2009 and made a F.A Trophy final appearance. They managed to head back to the Football League but once again lost their status with relegation four years ago. After four more seasons, the Gulls edged closer and closer to the dreaded drop and then it came. Last term Torquay United started on a thirteen-game winless run and never recovered.

Last Season

National League: 22nd

F.A Cup: 4th Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 1st Round

League Top Scorer: Jamie Read and Rhys Healey (6 goals)

Average Attendance: 1731 (13th National League)

The Manager – Gary Owers

F.A Cup runner up 26 years ago, Gary Owers walked up the Wembley steps to collect his medal after Sunderland lost the 1992 final to Liverpool. The former midfielder made over 300 appearances for the Black Cats and afterwards continued his career with Bristol City and Notts County. He moved in to non-league with Forest Green Rovers before playing for Bath City, the same two clubs he later went on to manage. When he left Weston-super-Mare in 2007 he spent the next nine years as a number two at Aldershot Town, Plymouth Argyle and Gateshead. Owers made the step back into first team management with Bath City before replacing Kevin Nicholson early last season at Plainmoor.

The Summer

Gary Owers’ first summer in charge has brought change to Plainmoor. Out go Reece Mitchell, Conrad Balatoni, Sam Chaney, Yan Klukowski and Jake Gosling. Ryan Clarke joins Bath City and Luke Young makes the step up to play for Wrexham. That has left plenty of room to sign new players like experienced 31-year-old Asa Hall who has represented Luton Town, Oxford United, Shrewsbury Town and Cheltenham Town. Former Woking duo Bobson Bawling and Jason Banton move down to Devon, whilst 21-year-old defender George Essuman and ex Bromley right back Ben Wynter sign up for Torquay United. Samir Nabi comes in from Carlisle United having previously spent time in the Indian Premier League with Dehli Dynamos. Two goalkeepers have also been signed with the arrivals of Shaun MacDonald from Blyth Spartans and Alex Bass on loan from Portsmouth. Early in his career Ryan Dickson went on loan at Plainmoor and now he is back at the age of 31. Kyle Cameron came through the Newcastle United academy and after loan spells at Workington, York City and Queen of the South the defender joins Torquay United. Another defender, Jean-Yves Koué Niate brings with him experience of time in France and Belgium as well as Solihull Moors, Oxford City, Ebbsfleet United and Guiseley.

Head to Head

Torquay United wins: 0 / Dartford wins: 0 / Draws: 2

Previous Meetings

04.04.2015 Torquay United 1 Dartford 1
23.08.2014 Dartford 0 Torquay United 0

Next Meetings

Saturday 10 November 2018 at Princes Park

Saturday 16 Match 2019 at Plainmoor

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St Albans City v Dartford

February will be an important month for Dartford and they begin with a trip to Clarence Park to face St Albans City this weekend.

The Darts return to the venue where they have lost in their last two attempts without scoring. However, it was Dartford who came out on top earlier in the season when they met at Princes Park back in October. Starting the afternoon level on points with the Saints, a 2-1 victory moved the Darts three points ahead of their opponents to cement first place in the National South. Elliot Bradbrook headed the hosts in front before St Albans City levelled through Charlie Walker. Lyle Della-Verde was involved in the eventual winner when his cross was turned in by former Dart, Tom Bender.

Dartford’s win ended a run of three defeats in a row against the Hertfordshire club, who had kept clean sheets in each of those encounters. Dartford last beat St Albans away from home in 2011 when Lee Burns’ header from 30 yards bounced over the goalkeeper and helped the Darts to a 2-1 victory. Since then, Dartford travelled to Hertfordshire in April 2016 with a glimmer of hope of reaching the playoffs, only to end the campaign on a whimper. The Saints ran out 4-0 winners with two goals from James Kaloczi, a Becka-kah Dembele own goal and Louie Theophanous strike. Almost a year later Charlie Walker’s goal was enough to separate the two sides as the hosts won 1-0 to complete a double over the Darts. Earlier in the campaign, the Saints ended Dartford’s unbeaten home record with goals from Sam Merson and Bender.

Last weekend, Dartford beat one of the form teams of the National South to open a three point lead at the top of the table. Despite their opponents Whitehawk propping up the division, the Darts came through with a 3-1 home win. Ronnie Vint, who celebrated his century of starts for the club before the game opened the goalscoring. The defender scored after the Hawks failed to clear their lines from a Ryan Hayes free kick. The visitors were level on 56 minutes through David Ijaha, but Andy Pugh’s brace a day before his birthday secured another important three points.

Manager Tony Burman spoke to www.dartfordfc.com after the game, he said: “I was really pleased with the performance of the players throughout the ninety minutes, Whitehawk are a much improved side and now have some excellent players. It was very important to gain three points which helped us to reach our targets for the end of the month. Although our opponents caused us some problems I felt we managed them very well and probably in the second half when we had a spell with some good delivery from set pieces we could have increased our goals tally.  It is very important that we stay focused in what we want to achieve as we have another tough month coming up”.

The Darts are still searching for more consistencies in their away showings. With five wins, five draws and four defeats Dartford are currently three league matches unbeaten away from Prince Park in the National South, including home form they have not lost in their last seven league outings.

Striker, Danny Mills who has made nine starts and two substitute appearances, has had his loan spell extended until the end of the season. Burman told www.dartfordfc.com: “I am delighted to have Danny on board for the rest of the season. It now means I have a formidable strike force to pick from for our run in, and with his experience covers any problems that may occur. Danny’s attitude and work rate has been spot on”.

Another former Dart that could be involved on the weekend is Tom Gardiner, who moved to the Saints due to work commitments last season. The defender was was named on the bench last weekend and made an appearance in their 7-2 smashing of East Thurrock United. The headlines belonged to Merson who netted four in the rout to take his tally to 13 league goals for the season, three behind Dartford’s Alfie Pavey who sits third in the scoring charts.

Guided by the experience of Ian Allinson, St Albans City have gone six National South fixtures at home without defeat. Similar to the Darts, the away form is holding the Hertfordshire back as they sit in sixth place. However, the Saints know if they win on the weekend as well as their game in hand then they could be level with Dartford once more.

Head to Head
St Albans City wins: 3 / Dartford wins: 7 / Draws: 4

Current League Form

St Albans City (WDWLDW) Dartford (WDWDWL)
East Thurrock United H 7-2 Whitehawk H 3-1
Eastbourne Borough A 1-1 Chippenham Town A 2-2
Chelmsford City H 2-1 Havant & Waterlooville H 1-0
Hemel Hempstead Town A 0-2 Concord Rangers A 1-1
Hemel Hempstead Town H 2-2 Welling United H 4-1
Wealdstone A 3-1 Hungerford Town A 0-1

Previous Meetings

28.10.2017 Dartford 2 St Albans City 1
25.03.2017 St Albans City 1 Dartford 0
08.11.2016 Dartford 0 St Albans City 2
30.04.2016 St Albans City 4 Dartford 0
06.02.2016 Dartford 2 St Albans City 0
02.04.2011 St Albans City 1 Dartford 2

Stats
Dartford are unbeaten against the current top six winning three and drawing three.

The Saints have taken just four points from 18 against teams in the top six, all of those came at home.

Pugh has now scored ten league goals for the Darts this term in 12 starts and eight substitute appearances. The striker has netted five in his last six National South appearances.

St Albans City have scored 29 home goals this term, the second highest in the division behind Dartford (37).

On This Day
Dartford have yet to concede a goal on 3 February since reforming. In the only two fixtures on this day, the Darts drew 0-0 at home to Cray Wanderers in 2007 and beat Herne Bay 2-0 in the Kent League back in 1996. In the Southern Premier League, the Darts drew 1-1 with Burton Albion in 1990 and three years prior they beat Folkestone 1-0 in the Kent Senior Cup quarter-final. The last defeat came in 1979 when Dartford lost 1-0 to Hillingdon Borough in the Southern Premier League.

Dartford v St Albans City

The Darts are back at Princes Park this weekend heading the National South table and hosting fourth place St Albans City.

Dartford started the week down in seventh place and one win saw a huge leap up the standings into pole position. With the top four separated by goal difference, Tony Burman will be hoping to improve his record against Saints boss Ian Allinson, to ensure the Darts maintain their lead in the National South. Victory at home will almost guarantee top spot as Dartford’s goal difference is seven goals more than their closest rivals.

However, the Darts have lost their last three meetings against St Albans City without even scoring a goal. The last of which came in March when Charlie Walker’s goal was enough to complete the double over Dartford. Earlier in the campaign St Albans City won 2-0 at Princes Park to end the Darts unbeaten home start that season. Sam Merson headed in the opener and former Dart, Tom Bender grabbed a second. At the end of the 2015/16 season, the Saints recorded their first ever victory over Dartford with a comprehensive 4-0 win on the final day.

After a second consecutive away defeat in the league last weekend without scoring, the Darts travelled to Bath City on Tuesday night. Having been beaten 3-0 by Weston-super-Mare then 1-0 by Chelmsford City on the road, the Darts were hoping to break their barren spell. Richard Sho-Silva was missing from the squad against the Romans meaning captain Elliot Bradbrook paired up with Ronnie Vint in central defence.

The match began with Ryan Hayes trying his luck immediately shooting straight from kick off and hitting the crossbar. In form striker Alfie Pavey looked lively and when Lee Noble crossed the ball on 32 minutes Pavey headed home. The lead lasted almost up to the interval but Tom Smith equalised before half-time. Dartford failed to break down ten men Chelmsford City on Saturday, but this time the Darts had to be resolute after Andy Pugh was dismissed. Despite the disadvantage Pavey pounced again to win the match 2-1 and keep up his record of almost a goal a game.

St Albans City, unbeaten in six prior to their Tuesday night fixture took on Hampton and Richmond Borough at the Beveree. The hosts took the lead on half an hour when Charlie Wassmer headed the opener which turned out to be the decisive goal, denying the Saints a place at the summit of the table.

Allinson’s side were the fastest out of the blocks this season winning their opening six, before losing to Braintree Town and Gloucester City back to back. Since then they remained unbeaten in the league until their mid-week reverse at Hampton and Richmond Borough.

Head to Head
Dartford wins: 6 / St Albans City wins: 3 / Draws: 4

Previous Meetings

25.03.2017 St Albans City 1 Dartford 0
08.11.2016 Dartford 0 St Albans City 2
30.04.2016 St Albans City 4 Dartford 0
06.02.2016 Dartford 2 St Albans City 0
02.04.2011 St Albans City 1 Dartford 2
22.03.2011 Dartford 2 St Albans City 2

Current League Form

Dartford (WLWLWW) St Albans City (LDWDDW)
Bath City A 2-1 Hampton & Richmond A 0-1
Chelmsford City A 0-1 Hungerford Town H 0-0
Bognor Regis Town H 1-0 Bath City H 2-0
Weston-super-Mare A 0-3 East Thurrock United A 1-1
Eastbourne Borough H 4-2 Whitehawk A 1-1
Chippenham Town H 3-0 Havant & Waterlooville H 2-1

Stats
Only St Albans City (17 points) have picked up more points at home this season than Dartford (16).

The Darts are the top scorers in the league with 32 goals and only Chelmsford City (9) have conceded fewer than Dartford’s 14 goals.

The Saints have failed to win any of their last four away games in the National South (D2 L2). Their last away win in the National South came on 19 August 2017 against Poole Town.

On This Day
Nine years ago Dartford were involved in a thrilling come back when they drew 3-3 with AFC Hornchurch in the Isthmian Premier League. Dean Green scored the opener for the Urchins and set up the second when his cross found Simon Parker. AFC Hornchurch went three up when Green netted his second before half-time. Early in the second half Cody McDonald’s pace helped him to start the come back, Rob Haworth scored by getting on the end of Ray Powell’s corner and Jamie Day completed the turnaround with a 25 yarder.